• September 28, 2010

    Sep 28, 2010 @ 12:00:00 pm

    TALKING TO SARA MARCUS ABOUT RIOT GRRRL

    Sara Marcus’s Girls to the Front, an engaging chronicle of the early-’90s punk feminist movement known as Riot Grrrl, is being published today by Harper Perennial. Writing in Bookforum’s music issue, musician and author Johanna Fateman called the book an “ambitious and convincing book that makes narrative sense out of events that had so far been recorded only in mythic, unverified, and fragmentary form.” We recently sat down with Marcus, who is a freelancer at our sister publication Artforum, to discuss her writing process, feminism’s fate in mainstream

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  • Jason Schwartzman
    September 28, 2010

    Sep 28, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    This week's New Yorker is available in a new iPad version, with a nifty animated cover by David Hockney. In a note to readers, the New Yorker editors write nostalgically about the magazine’s early days, noting the scarcity of pencils, and marveling that founder Harold Ross "could not have imagined a day when the magazine would be available as quickly to a reader in Manchester or Madrid as to one in Manhattan." They assure readers that "print remains, by miles, our most popular form," before telling us how they really feel. "We’re at once delighted and a little bewildered about this latest

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  • Don Delillo
    September 27, 2010

    Sep 27, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    This weekend, we witnessed the maiden voyage of the Wall Street Journal's new stand-alone Books section; Publisher's Weekly chats with editor Robert Messenger.

    Farenheit 451, 2010: The Pentagon held a book burning on September 20th, destroying 9,500 hundred copies of Operation Dark Heart. The book's author, Anthony Shaffer, told CNN: "The whole premise smacks of retaliation. . . . Someone buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous." And if you can't burn 'em, ban them: September 25th marks the beginning of banned books week; did someone really think it was a

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  • Keith Gessen
    September 24, 2010

    Sep 24, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Via the Casual Optimist: Design consulting firm IDEO offers three visions for the future of the book, and, unsurprisingly, print isn't on the agenda. IDEO's video outlining their ideas is so blithe and whimsical that we we were swept up for a moment in their somewhat surreal concepts, such as "Alice," an interactive e-book that aims to "[blur] the lines between reality and fiction." As the narrator cheerfully intones, "stories unfold and develop through reader's active participation . . . unexpectedly the reader stumbles upon plot twists and turns, embeded in the stories that are unlocked

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  • Jessica Duffin Wolfe, photo by Liz Clayton
    September 23, 2010

    Sep 23, 2010 @ 3:00:00 pm

    AN INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA DUFFIN WOLFE, AN EDITOR OF THE FORTHCOMING TORONTO REVIEW OF BOOKS

    Print book reviews have been having a tough time in the past decade, but there are grounds for optimism in the online world. And though the web makes it easy to cross borders, there is still a case to be made for grounding a publication in a specific locale. One example of both that has been getting a lot of attention is the new Los Angeles Review of Books, which is scheduled to launch in early 2011. In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, editor Tom Lutz says “The majority of our

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  • Leon Wieseltier
    September 23, 2010

    Sep 23, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    FSG publicity and marketing vice-president Jeff Seroy is pals with the New Republic's literary editor Leon Wieseltier—the two seem compelled to inform people that they went to Columbia together. But when Seroy dismissed TNR's less-than-fawning review (by Ruth Franklin) of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom by saying that Wieseltier "specializes in drawing attention to his pages through consistently negative reviews," the old collegial spirit quickly dissipated. Wieseltier has responded to the charge by penning a rousing defense of the value of negative reviews in a literary world "that is amiable,

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  • Valerie Martin and Margaret Atwood, photo by Nancy Crampton.
    September 22, 2010

    Sep 22, 2010 @ 12:00:00 pm

    Canadian author Margaret Atwood read from her latest novel, The Year of the Flood, at Monday’s opening night of the 92Y Reading Series, an evening one-on-one discussion series entering its 72nd season.

    During the introduction, longtime friend and colleague Valerie Martin said Atwood was so prolific that she’s not sure who writes all of Atwood’s books. (“It might be a Sasquatch double,” deadpanned Martin, a wink at Atwood’s Canadian heritage). When Atwood is not writing, Martin said, the 70-year-old Ontario native is tweeting, blogging, or “on a carbon-neutral, around-the world tour” promoting

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  • September 22, 2010

    Sep 22, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Tonight at 192 Books, Frederic Tuten will read from his new book Self-Portrait: Fictions. Recently, Bookforum's Peter Trachtenberg caught up with Tuten to ask him about cinema, his friendship with Roy Lichtenstein, and his "painterly prose."

    Donald Rumsfeld's memoir, Known and Unknown, will be released on January 25. The book has been embargoed, so we won't be able to read Rummy's rhetorical twists, revelations about the events leading up to the Iraq War, or recollections of meeting Elvis until the book is in stores. In the meantime, can someone please cook up a book trailer?

    The Rumpus

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  • Frederic Tuten
    September 21, 2010

    Sep 21, 2010 @ 12:00:00 pm

    AN INTERVIEW WITH FREDERIC TUTEN

    Since dropping out of high school at the age of sixteen with dreams of becoming a painter, Frederic Tuten has lived in Paris; traveled through Mexico and South America; earned a Ph.D. in nineteenth-century American literature; acted in a short film by Alain Resnais; conducted summer writing workshops in Tangiers with Paul Bowles; and written fictions and essays for the artist’s catalogues of Eric Fischl, David Salle, John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, and Roy Lichtenstein. He has also written some of the slyest and most beguiling fiction ever to be described as

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  • Zadie Smith
    September 21, 2010

    Sep 21, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    We know where we'll be tonight: At the FSG Reading Series, the semi-regular literary event held upstairs at the Russian Samovar. You know the drill: The Samovar will start serving vodka around 6:30. David Bezmozgis and Rahul Bhattacharya will start reading their work at 7. 

    Zadie Smith takes over the "New Books" column at Harper's.

    The Paris Review has just launched its redesigned website, which looks as elegant as their new print issue. You'll want to free up the next several days to peruse their interview archives spanning the 1950s to the present, listen to audio clips, and subscribe to

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  • September 20, 2010

    Sep 20, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    Tonight at Film Forum, there's a must-see screening of Stanley Kubrick's harrowing 1957 film, Paths of Glory, introduced by The Wire's creator David Simon. Humphrey Cobb's 1935 novel, on which the film was based, was recently reissued by Penguin classics with a new introduction by Simon, who will sign copies of the book after the film. Simon has cited the movie as a key influence on his work, saying, "If anyone wants to look at Paths of Glory and think it doesn't speak to the essential triumph of institutions over individuals and doesn't speak to the fundamental inhumanity of the 20th century

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  • Steve Almond
    September 17, 2010

    Sep 17, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

    It's official: Oprah Winfrey has chosen Jonathan Franzen's new novel for her book club.

    Here's a trailer for Chris Lehmann's Rich People Things, which hilariously uses a scene from Fellini's La Dolce Vita (watch for the cameo from Nico).

    Steve Almond takes writerly self-humiliation to glorious heights in a column for The Rumpus, in which he lampoons poems he wrote in his youth. Sample line: "The geese yank his pants with cheddar beaks."

    Futurebook offers a crash course on how to use—and not use—Twitter to promote books.

    The watchdog group Media Matters has examined how The Wall Street

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